Dave’s here to answer your questions every Wednesday, so send them to him at email@example.com, here’s what to make sure to include in your letter.
I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend 2.5 years ago. We signed a year-long lease as co-tenants and are now on a month to month. All rent checks come directly from me. The building was built long before 1979 and has about 20 units. The rent is $1850.
We are now breaking up and she is going to move out. I want to stay in the apartment. Can the land lord increase my rent because she is leaving?
I didn’t edit your space between land and lord because it serves to remind us that, as tenants, we are always subject to the whims of a lord.
The answer to your question, however, is a flat out no. No, the landlord cannot increase your rent beyond the allowable increase set by the Rent Board because you are an original tenant on the lease. Reversing the situation, if you were moving out, your girlfriend could not receive a rent increase either. She too is an original tenant despite the fact that you wrote all the rent checks.
The Costa Hawkins Rent Housing Act, a heinous infringement upon local government and self determination which should be repealed, provides that a landlord can only increase the rent controlled rent upon a subsequent occupant. You’re in the clear as an original tenant.
You will also be able to get a roommate if you so desire because the Rent Ordinance allows for a one-for-one replacement of roommates. Be sure to follow the step-by-step provisions of San Francisco Rent Board Rules & Regulations ??6.15A or ??6.15B depending on the terms of your lease.
Dave Crow is an attorney who specializes in San Francisco landlord tenant law. However, the opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author, do not constitute legal advice, and the information is general in nature. Consult the advice of an attorney for any specific problem. You understand that no attorney-client relationship will exist with Dave Crow or his firm, Crow & Rose unless they have agreed to represent you. You should not respond to this site with any information that you believe is highly confidential.
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